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I am aged 16-18 and leaving school

16 18

At Central, we can help you realise and achieve your ambitions, whatever they may be. Deciding what to do when you leave school is always a difficult decision to make and we want to make the process as easy as possible.

You don't have to stay at school after 16

In the past, young people could choose to leave school aged 16 after their GCSEs and look for a job straight away. Nowadays, the law states that you’re expected to continue with education or training until the age of 18, to help prepare you for your future career.

However, it’s a myth that you ave to stay at school! In fact, the school leaving age is still 16, but the law now says that you need to continue with some form of education or training up to the age of 18, to help prepare you for a successful career. You’ll be able to choose the option that suits you best though. School isn’t the right option for everyone, so at 16 you could:

Study a full-time course at college

Full-time study after the age of 16 doesn’t necessarily mean the five full days a week.  You might be in college for a few days per week, so you could have spare time to fit in self-directed study (important to succeed on your course), plus your hobbies and even part-time work.

Join a work-based learning programme, such as an apprenticeship or combine full-time work with part-time study

If you decide to get a job at 16, you’ll need to be working alongside some study or training. Choosing an apprenticeship could be ideal solution, as they combine work and study. You’ll be based mainly in the workplace and earning a wage, but also working towards a qualification.

What can I study?

We have a large range of subjects, covering diverse interests. To explore your options, visit our subjects page. You can also learn more about how to apply, and what happens after you’ve submitted your application.

Programme of Study

In addition to studying a course with us, all schools and colleges are now required to include classes in English and Maths if you haven’t already achieved a Grade C in these subjects. This means when you leave college, you will be in the best possible position to get that dream job or your place at university.